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07.06.11

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That's a Heck of a Lot of Lunch

Thanks to the Bohemian and Emily Hunt for her article ("Small Bites—Low Income Lunch," June 29). While the Redwood Empire Food Bank does not feed 29,000 children over the summer, we do make lunch possible for any of the 29,000 children who rely on their school's free or reduced-cost lunch during the academic year. This summer, the REFB will distribute over 96,000 lunches at 42 sites throughout Sonoma County. For information on how someone 18 and under can access a free summer lunch, call the Redwood Empire Food Bank at 707.523.7900, or dial 211.

Miriam Hodgman

Communications Coordinator, REFB


No More Rights

Johannes Mehserle's defense for killing Oscar Grant was that he'd pulled his pistol instead of his Taser. Video of the incident showed Oscar Grant to be face-down and under control. He wasn't struggling. Why did Meherle reach for either weapon? To stop Grant from talking?

Increasingly, Tasers are being used to enforce respect rather than as an alternative to deadly force. It is not the role of the police to administer justice. Their role is to maintain order and protect the rights of the people, but never the former at the expense of the latter. The Constitution guarantees free speech. That means if I create a disturbance, get loud and whatnot, I can expect to be arrested. But it's my right to talk about it all the way to jail without being brutalized or, in this case, murdered for it.

We've lost our right to privacy from illegal search and seizure and unlawful detainment. I could go on, but I'm having trouble remembering anything that hasn't been eliminated from our rights enumerated constitutionally! When people use the insipid logic that those of us killing and dying in foreign wars are "fighting for our freedom," I really have to wonder what it is they are talking about. Since the coup de 2000, we seem to be increasingly defending a fascist police state.

I rather hope for Oscar Grant's family's sake and his now fatherless child's sake that Mehserle remembers their loss every day and the price they've paid for his childish loss of temper. I mourn his loss and the death of our shared illusions of freedom.

J. T. Younger

Santa Cruz


Threadbare

The fabric of society

is ripping the seams

Sub-prime market swindlers

destroyed American dreams.

While our lives become more threadbare

with every Wall Street excess

Pollyanna meets Doubting Thomas

along the Main Street of distress.

Foreclosure, unemployment

have wrecked your credit score

And that wolf at your front door

just had puppies on your floor.

Our moral compass is broken

compassion all but lost

Leading success rates of failures

while the weak pay the cost.

Joe Sixpack drinks debt death brew

suffering the pains of poverty

Choking on the bitter dregs and

toasting our mutual future misery.

The lunatic fringe feral government

drove a big rig down a dead-end street

With corporate personhood at the wheel

Constitution's trampled under feet.

Jails and shelters overflowing

In the north and in the south

National debt keeps on growing

like rhetoric from a lipstick mouth.

Middle-class, Middle America

who haven't a dime to spare

Will meet for Sunday dinner

on the corner of Futility and Despair.

Tycoon capitalist overlords

are buying property on Easy Street

While good folks in bad times

find it harder to make ends meet.

Sharon Lewis Campbell

Sebastopol


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